Fishing Out a World War II Tank from a Lake.

From the website:

At that time, a local boy walking by the lake Kurtna Matasjarv noticed tank tracks leading into the lake, but not coming out anywhere. For two months he saw air bubbles emerging from the lake. This gave him reason to believe that there must be an armoured vehicle at the lake's bottom. A few years ago, he told the story to the leader of the local war history club "Otsing". Together with other club members, Mr Igor Shedunov initiated diving expeditions to the bottom of the lake about a year ago. At the depth of 7 metres they discovered the tank resting under a 3-metre layer of peat. ...

14 September 2000, a Komatsu D375A-2 pulled an abandoned tank from its archival tomb under the bottom of a lake near Johvi, Estonia. The Soviet-built T34/76A tank had been resting at the bottom of the lake for 56 years.

Link - via Cynical-C


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Actually, it was buried under 3 meters of peat which kept it in an anaerobic state. With the oxygen away from it as well as the cold water, it was pefectly preserved.
There were a LOT of live shells still inside, also stable and preserved. All the mechanical systems except the engine functioned after simply being cleaned. The engine was actually repaired and the tank made to move under its own power with surprisingly little work.
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Most likely the lake is fresh water and steel and iron, even wood can survive for over a 100 years underneath fresh water. Look at all the ship wreck under the Great Lakes they are still in good shape. I wonder if they found any artifacts inside, maybe even live shells.
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